The Supreme Court & Marriage: What You Need to Know

Tomorrow the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision that results will have tremendous implications.

There are two legal questions the court is taking up.

  1. Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between people of the same gender?
  2. Does the 14th Amendment require one state to acknowledge a valid marriage from another state?

Fundamentally, the question for the court is not whether same-sex “marriage” is good policy, but whether the public is allowed to debate the issue through the democratic process.

The text of the Constitution is silent on the issue of marriage.

As you are well aware, one side argues that marriage is a relationship designed to confer a series of legal rights and benefits and give societal approval to the life-long commitment adults make to each other. As such, it is inappropriate to distinguish between commitments.

The other side argues that while people should be free to form whatever relationships they desire, marriage exists not primarily for the benefit of the adults but to connect one generation to the next. The fact that all children have a mother and father justifies encouraging the one kind of relationship that makes that possible.

Either the court will conclude that this is a political issue to be decided through the legislative process, or it will decide that the Constitution forbids such a debate because there is a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender.

If it finds a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender, it would become illegal for a state to specifically promote the arrangement that makes it possible for a child to know both their mother and father.

Same-sex “marriage” would then be compulsory in all 50 states.

Either way, the debate won’t be over soon. But it could be intensified if the Supreme Court tells one side of the debate their ideas have been banned from consideration.

If someone asks you, “What’s wrong with gay marriage?” ask them, “What’s wrong with square circles.”

They may be offended simply because, for a certain segment of the population, being offended is an involuntary reaction to encountering ideas they disagree with.

Still, the question makes a point all of us defending real marriage need to remember.

The fact that marriage is not a relationship between two men is not a judgment, it’s an observation like saying, “An orange is not an apple.” The debate over which one is better or worse (or neither) is distinct from the acknowledgement that they are in fact different kinds of fruit.

If the Supreme Court makes it illegal for the law to recognize the fact that some relationships are different from others, people will still figure it out.

“What kind of marriage?” we’ll ask.

Of course, that question might soon lead to protests and pickets. So the world will adapt signals or handshakes that allow the kind of information that was once communicated through a wedding ring to be shared without incurring the wrath of those who think belief in gender difference should be verboten.

Sweet, sweet tolerance.

But the idea that the world will soon be blind to gender is fanciful.

Pray that the Supreme Court doesn’t repeat the mistake of Roe v. Wade, which inflamed a cultural debate, by silencing the people’s voice on the matter.

However, even if the Supreme Court takes the position that the Emperor’s new clothes are stunning, know that you won’t be the only one watching the parade who knows better.

11 replies
  1. Steve Weyer
    Steve Weyer says:

    Gay marriage is all about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot listened to God and was not turned in to a Pillar of Salt like his wife was. Lot mentioned the wicked act that was desired of the people at his door with his guests and this comment is only a reflection of God’s feeling toward people of the same sex. Give the bearded lady the price of admission to the freak show if you will and it’s time to go home the show is over.

    Reply
  2. Marilyn
    Marilyn says:

    So what on earth does the word “marriage” mean now anyhow? It has always simply been the union of a man and a woman. This encompassed arranged marriages (people from India etc. do move here occasionally) and marriages of convenience which were fairly common in small isolated communities years ago and still occur sometimes as well as those folks who stay together now days for various reasons after love has left the relationship. If men can “marry” other men and women can “marry” other women, the word “marriage has no meaning at all.

    Reply
  3. Lara Updike
    Lara Updike says:

    Great article, Joseph. I hope the Supreme Court will spare our nation the problems that will flow from declaring a Constitutional right to gay marriage, but if it does not, life will go on and God will bless those who trust Him.

    Reply
  4. 11th Gen American
    11th Gen American says:

    Unless Ginsburg and Kagan recuse themselves, as they definitely should, I cannot predict how SCOTUS will rule on the crucial topic of same-sex marriage, especially in view of their decision on Obamacare, which is an unmitigated disaster to this country (as Obama intended). What galls me to the inner core is when left-wing wacko judges overturn the vote of the people in state after state after (wise) voters have voted NO! to same-sex marriage. Here in Washington State, the voters voted NO, but the left-wing legislature voted to overturn that decision by the people, approving same-sex marriage, and utterly degrading our society even further than before. I truly hope the SCOTUS rules that the vote of the people holds precedence, and, as Obama originally promised us, that states who disapprove same-sex marriages won’t be required to recognize them.

    Reply
    • Bill G
      Bill G says:

      Do you make up all your “facts”? Washington was the first state to have voter approved same-sex marriage. That’s a FACT!

      Reply
  5. daniwitz13
    daniwitz13 says:

    THREE WINNING ARGUMENTS AGAINST SSM

    It is Unconstitutional for any State, under the 14th Amendment, to make a Law for the General Public, an entity, comprised of only one Gender, or two of the same Genders, to the exclusion of the other lone Gender. This Law of Same Gender Marriages, are Unconstitutional in any State, even Massachusetts. The 14th Amendment, commands and demands that all States make Laws, equally for both Genders. To make a State Law, for only one Gender, is Unconstitutional. It is irrelevant that the State also have a Male/Female type of Marriages in existence, therefore equality. No State, can make such a Law. All such Same Gender Marriages are invalid, illegal and Unconstitutional. It cannot be recognized, similar to any State Law, that would still allow for slavery. The Attorney General of the State of Massachusetts, did not apply nor understand what the 14th Amendment forbids. Any such Marriages, are null and void, and as drastic as it may be, as was done for slavery, it must be done, to save Society and thereby Mankind. Hopefully, the SCOTUS will have the strength, courage and the integrity to correct this Unconstitutional Law, and save our Nation.
    Ken Chang

    It is Unconstitutional for any Federal Judge, under the 14th Amendment, to strike-down an exclusion (“ban”) Lawfully made by the State, then have what was excluded from that Law, become an operational Law. There is no written provision in the 14th, for any Federal intervention. Each State has an Attorney General to guide the State on the Constitution. It is not Unconstitutional for any State to exclude anything from its Laws. The exclusion(s) are only words, not actionable events to that Law. Whether they are good or bad, Constitutional or not, is irrelevant to the Law that excluded it. It is not part and partial to the initial Law. It is external to the Law itself. It does not even need to be included, (the exclusion(s)) It is not the concern of that Law, what status the exclusion is in. (if a Law, excluded bad Lawyers, it is irrelevant whether he/she has a License or not, because that Lawyer will not be connected to that Law, in any way.) It is not the purview of any Judge to deal with what was excluded. No Judge can strike-down an exclusion, then make that exclusion a Law, to be implemented. It has to go through the normal process of an introduced Bill, be approved before it becomes a Law. Judges cannot make Laws, therefore, this is a Judge making a Law, without Legislation. Clearly, Unconstitutional. What would this Judge do, if there were 10 exclusions? Cherry pick just one exclusion and put it into effect? Or put all of them into Law? Hopefully the SCOTUS will correct this, and this Judge.
    Ken Chang

    A Same Sex Marriage Law, is a Same Gender Marriage Law. It is an Unconstitutional Law. It is not a Law for only Homosexuals to Marry. It is for ‘any’ Same Gender to Marry another of the Same Gender. It is basically for any two Same Genders, whether they have an Orientation or not, is irrelevant. But it could be for a type of Animal, dog, cat, bird, or Religion and Politics, etc, or no affinity at all. They do not have to love, have sex or even live together. They will get all the Rights and Benefits of Marriage from the Feds. and all the same benefits that employers give to “Married” Homosexuals. Govt. will have to start recognizing all these Same Gender “Orientation Marriages” and Protect them from discrimination too. Whether or not they ‘do’ have an Orientation is irrelevant, unknown and private, and can be lied, and “claim” anything they want, it does not matter, because it does not, and has never mattered with Homosexuality. All that is required, mainly, is that they are two consenting same Genders, Male or Female, applying. After all, No one knows for sure, even, if Homosexuals too, are really Homosexuals. This is never asked by a registrar, or Govt. and Govt. that usually ask for proof and evidence, of entities that they recognize, but for whatever reason, do not do it for Homosexuality.
    Our Constitution has survived because, it protected only one Male/Female Marriage Formula, which makes our Mankind, it will then have to protect for hundreds, Same Genders Marrying for hundreds of reasons, not connected to making Mankind and Society. It will be basically for the status of Marriage, and to acquire Rights and Benefits. Love, if that was their motif. But all of these entities, cannot further our Mankind, with births. The Constitution will not be able to compare multiple entities or Orientations, against each other. It will only be a conundrum for the Constitution and our Society. Births in our Nation, have been declining and presently, one third of our Nation, has more deaths than births. If this is not a concern for this Court, it is for our Society and economy. Hopefully, the SCOTUS will strike down this Unconstitutional Law, and protect and save our Constitution, for our Future.
    Ken Chang

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Ginsburg and Kagan should recuse themselves from the case because they are NOT impartial. Ms. Ginsburg tipped her hand in an interview and pretty much admitted where she stands on the issue and would vote that way and Kagan is gay, so that makes her involvement a conflict of interest. Both have also performed gay marriages, too. Here’s where the rules on this are: Title 28, Part I, Chapter 21, Section 455 of the U.S. Code…….”Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” What is comes down to is this: do we want judges sitting on the highest court of our land to make judgements based on their own personal feelings (injecting them into their rulings) or do we want judges who uphold our Constitution and rule according to true law? If they do not recuse themselves, then there should be an uprising concerning the trampling of the laws and rules pertaining to their job!

    Reply
  7. Patricia Fisher
    Patricia Fisher says:

    I ask whether the Supreme Court
    Justices have, collectively, at least one brain? Same sex marriage? Read that again to find the error. SAME SEX ?? MARRIAGE?? As the initials go: WTF? How could you even think?? And, furthermore, I suggest you Justices read the role/definition of “Supreme Court Justices” again. PLEASE return this country to the great nation we once were…under God. Is that so reprehensible?

    Reply
  8. Tionico
    Tionico says:

    The SCOTUS did NOT silence the People’s voice on the matter of abortion, nor on sodo,my (Lawrence) nor unlawful seizure of private property for private gain (Kelo). No, we the people acquiesced and abdicated. The REAL question is WILL WE CONTINUE to do so?

    I like part of what I am seeing here in Washnington State with the I WILL NOT COMPLY movement in response to the treacherous and illegal Initiative 594, the new anti gun law bought by big money. We, the people who care, need to continue to NOT COMPLY with such travesties of illegal restrictions. NO CHILD< in the womb or out, need ever fear death without due process.. and the SCOTUS did/does NOT provide "due process" for the fifty five million murders perpetrated after their sick judgement. We will find a way to set true marriage, as God has defined, apart from the farce the sodomites want to call "marriage". It is marriage no more than interchanging the name ant to elephant will make either one the other. Perhaps refusing to allow the state to acknowledge or register our marriages (rightly formed under God's laws) thus denying them any form of control, or even the ability to define the term. Simply remove ourselves from their usurped authority on the matter gilds them. The sodomites will soon enough breed themselves out of existence. Remembe,r their antics are, by definition, sterile.

    Reply
    • Philip Wilson
      Philip Wilson says:

      Tionico,

      Generally they use IVF to produce children for themselves. What most people don’t realize is that the state is now assigning parenthood since one of the couple cannot by nature be the biological parent of the child.

      Phil

      Reply

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